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The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > IIPC Presents Update on Web Archiving

October 29, 2009 -- The International Internet Preservation Consortium held a conference in San Francisco on October 7, 2009. The one-day conference,"Active Solutions for Preserving Internet Content (external link)," allowed participants to share their web archiving experiences, collections, infrastructures and workflows.

A recurring theme at the various sessions was enhanced access to collections. There was a consensus that archived content stands a better chance of preservation if it is open for widespread use.

IIPC logoSeveral institutions detailed how their web-archiving systems worked. Gildas Illien, from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, attributed part of the BnF's large and successful web archiving program to good team communication, from the librarians who nominate web sites to the engineers who administrate the archives. To help promote communication, the BnF holds workshops with its engineers, managers and archivists to clarify roles.

Gina Jones of the Library of Congress described the complex responsibilities of a web archivist and noted that it was a difficult job to teach to others. She said that institutions need qualified web archivists. Jones also talked about the need to spread web-archiving responsibility around in a given institution. She noted that a key question was "How do you bring the curators into the process so that they will take ownership?"

There were several case studies from IIPC members. Amanda Spencer and Alison Hetherington of the National Archives of the UK discussed an approach to dealing with an abundance of broken links on government websites. The National Archives developed a solution where, if a link is broken, the 404 error takes the user to an archived version of the web site. This configuration redirection is now required on all UK government websites.

David Pearson, of the National Library of Australia, talked about data-migration tests using the tools CAMiLEON and XENA. CAMiLEON, which is usually associated with emulation, has a migration-on-request feature (external link). XENA (XML Electronic Normalizing of Archives) detects the file formats of digital objects and converts the objects into a standardized XML format for preservation.